Franklin and Bache: Envisioning the Enlightened Republic
Fostering the "pursuit of happiness" was an avowed purpose of the American Revolution, but what was the phrase to mean in practice? How would the new society being created achieve what Enlightenment egalitarians called the "common good"? In this dual biography of Benjamin Franklin and his grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, Jeffery A. Smith examines the careers of two of the most prominent journalists to advocate what became known as Jeffersonian republicanism. Franklin used his writings to encourage the kind of conscientious and public-spirited behavior he thought necessary if the majority of people were to secure free and prosperous lives. He impressed these ideals on Bache as he supervised his education in three countries and established him as a printer-publisher in Philadelphia. In the 1790s, as Federalists and Republicans battled over the course the United States would take in national and international affairs, Franklin's carefully indoctrinated protege became Jefferson's confidant and most fierce journalistic supporter. Franklin and Bache were among those envisioning a nation where liberty, learning, and a more even distribution of wealth would inaugurate a new epoch in human history. Published on the 200th anniversary of Franklin's death, this careful study offers a much-needed illumination of early American aspirations for a democratic future.
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Advertiser agriculture April August Aurora Autobiography Bache to Benjamin Bache's Benjamin Franklin Bache Benny British citizens classical republican Constitution Cramer Deborah Franklin December democratic Duane Early American economic editor egalitarian eighteenth century essay February Federalist Fenno France Franklin to Benjamin Franklin to Jane Franklin to Richard Franklin to William Franklin wrote French Gazette George Washington grandfather grandson Hamilton happiness Hewson ibid Ideology James Madison Jane Mecom January Jay Treaty Jeffersonian John Adams journalism journalists July June letter liberty mankind March Mary Quarterly ment moral nation newspaper November October pamphlet Papers of Thomas party Pennsylvania Philadelphia political Poor Richard president Press Freedom Printers and Press printing published readers republic revolutionary Richard Bache Samuel Cooper Sarah Bache September Smith society Temple Tench Coxe Thomas Jefferson Thomas Paine thought tion told United University Press virtue wealth William and Mary William Temple Franklin Writings Yale York